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Trump misses the whole point of big military parades



Trump misses the whole point of big military parades

Many countries put a lot of effort and spend a lot of money polishing their missiles, repainting their vehicles, and transporting a big chunk of their military apparatus just to display them to the people in a parade. President Trump got the idea from a French parade. We see images all the time of North Korean and Iranian military parades.

There’s a reason these and other countries have these parades. It comes down to an old business adage, “fake it ’til you make it.”

The United States doesn’t have to fake it. That’s why it should be no big deal that President Trump’s vision of a big parade seem to be postponed at best.

How Trump’s big military parade evaporated into thin air already has quite a few parades, including some with military participation held on Memorial Day and July 4. There was even a 1991 victory parade following the Gulf War complete with 8,000 marching troops, an F-117 Stealth Fighter, some tanks and a Patriot Missile Launcher.

But even that grand display of military hardware from the Gulf War didn’t seem to be what Trump had in mind. He noted that France had represented uniforms and equipment from different wars and that the Bastille Day parade lasted a full two hours. Trump said he envisioned a similar military extravaganza next July 4 down Washington’s famed Pennsylvania Avenue, which connects the White House to Capitol Hill.

Nations often try to build confidence and raise nationalism through parades. In many countries, it’s the best opportunity for the people to get a glimpse of the men and equipment set to protect them. It’s a confidence builder.

Not many Americans would say our military is too small or lacks technological advancements. A parade is not necessary to build American confidence. It would simply be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The President may not get the big parade he wanted, but at least he and the rest of us know our military is effective whether we put it on display or not.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ed

    August 18, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    There’s nothing particularly sexy about computer software – it’s invisible, abstract and integrated into our equpment – same for our comsec equipment, the training of our officers and men, and the accuracy advantage and counter-counter-measure advantages we hold over our opponents with our cruise missiles, our ICBMs, and our smart bombs as well as our air-to-air missiles for air superiority, and our special ammunition that can be launched from our mobile artillery pieces. (Counter-counter-measures are those techniques and design features designed to defeat enemy counter-measures and to insure that they cannot jam or confuse our missiles, bombs, rockets, etc).

    There’s no visibility to to the superior training we give our officers & troops, so any troops or missiles or other hardware seen rolling down the street might as well be made of cardboard for all the strength it actually shows. It’s certain that the US military will not be putting our newest tanks, or aircraft or drones on public display for the pleasure of the Russians, N. Koreans or China, nor would a display indicate the ranges of our radios or our inter-agency communications capabilities or integrated forces functionality – all of which play some part in adding to the overall strength of the US Military.

    All the average person would see would be men in uniforms walking down the street (They might well be homeless vets as far as the public knows) and that “scary-looking” militaristic vehicles drove by. Most civilians (Trump included) would be unable to tell whether the guns carried in the parade were real or rubber – whether the barrels were plugged or not and whether the actual troops taking part in the parade had ever seen combat or were part of the military marching band(s).

    The US military has no need to waste time or money pulling actual combat troops away from training and combat preparation to do a spit-and-polish parade to pander to the ego of a narcissist – not to mention the logistical nightmare of finding lodging and travel for those involved – not to mention the damages to DC buildings and businesses when so many military would inevitably clash with the very liberal, poorly educated, anti-military-biased denizens of DC like sailors on shore leave.

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